1. THE VAMPIRA
Like a cross between a Bloody Maria and a Paloma, this slightly spicy cocktail is lightened with lemon juice and a splash of grapefruit soda, Cholula hot sauce makes it just a little hot, and Clamato adds complexity. Don’t worry, you won’t taste the clam juice. (Though this would be an excellent accompaniment to a spread of oysters, shrimp, and clams.)
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila (100% agave)
- 1 teaspoon Mexican hot sauce such as Cholula
- 1 ounce Clamato
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Mexican Squirt or other grapefruit soda
- lemon wheel or wedge to garnish
Fill a 10-ounce glass with ice. Scatter salt on the ice, then pour in the tequila, hot sauce, Clamato, and lemon juice. Top up the glass with grapefruit soda and stir gently. Garnish with lemon and serve immediately.
2. CINNAMON TARAMIND MARGARITA
This margarita is quite tart and refreshing, with the slightly earthy notes of tamarind and cinnamon coming through. Use a good 100% agave tequila, either blanco or reposado. The spice of the tequila echoes beautifully though this cocktail, and a little Cointreau adds a hint of orangey sweetness.
You can use tamarind concentrate, which comes as a thick liquid in a plastic jar. If you can only find tamarind blocks, don’t worry. Submerge an inch or so of the block in a few tablespoons of hot water for fifteen minutes. Mash to loosen, and discard any seeds or undissolved solids.
- For the rim:
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- For the cocktail:
- 3/4 ounce tamarind concentrate
- 2 ounces blanco or reposado tequila (100% agave)
- 1 1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 ounce Cointreau
- cinnamon stick to garnish, if desired
Mix sugar, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon in a small bowl, then pour onto a saucer. Pour 2 tablespoons lime juice onto a second saucer. Turn serving glass (martini glass or old fashioned) in lime juice to coat the outer rim. Then spin glass in cayenne mixture, rotating slowly to coat.
Add tamarind concentrate, tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, lemon juice, and Cointreau to mixing glass. Fill with ice and shake well, about 30 seconds. Strain into serving glass. Garnish with cinnamon stick if desired.
3. PALOMA BRAVA
This sweet-and-sour spin on the classic Paloma. A generous dose of freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice brings this cocktail to life.
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila, such as Don Julio
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
- 2 ounces fresh orange juice, from 1 small orange
- 6 ounces fresh grapefruit juice, from 1 small pink grapefruit
- 4 ounces grapefruit soda
- Agave nectar to taste
- Garnish: Lime wheel
Fill a large glass mug with ice. Add salt, tequila, lime, orange, and grapefruit juice. Stir gently. Top off with grapefruit soda, add agave nectar to taste and garnish with lime wheel.
4. THE SANTA CLARA
This easy-to-make and easy-to-sip drink is basically a “silver Tequila Collins.” It’s crisp and light…Perfect for a hot day…A healthy sprig of mint adds aroma and you can decorate the glass with thinly cut lemon wheels if you want to get fancy.
- 2 ounces silver tequila
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- 3 dashes grapefruit bitters
- Sparkling water
- Garnish: lemon wheel and mint sprig
Fill Collins glass with ice. Add tequila, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters directly into the glass, top with sparkling water and stir gently. Garnish with lemon wheel and mint sprig.
This is a spin on the Hemingway Daiquiri. Tequila adds warmth to bitter Campari; it’s a luxurious cocktail that’s a bit like sipping candied grapefruit peel.
- 2 ounces silver tequila (100% agave)
- 1/2 ounce Campari
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- garnish: grapefruit twist
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add tequila, Campari, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup. Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with grapefruit twist.